Strategies for Teaching Autistic Students in Your School Music Program

Strategies for Teaching Autistic Students in Your School Music Program

In recent years, there has been an increase in the diagnosis of autism among today’s youth population. As a result, music teachers have seen an increase in the number of autistic students in their classrooms.

Autism is a spectrum of disorders with characteristics that range from high-functioning Asperger’s to classic autism, in which children have significant communication and learning disabilities, In general, autistic children have difficulties with subtle forms of communication (visual cues) and with developing social skills.

Tips for the Traveling Instrumental Music Teacher

Tips for the Traveling Instrumental Music Teacher

I’ve spent the first 16 years of my career as a traveling instrumental music teacher. I teach elementary instrumental music, and I’m currently split between nine schools in a Title 1 area. My students are excused from their regular classroom to come to band and orchestra for 30 minutes twice a week.

Curious, Collaborative, Creativity: Steps to Empower Your Ensemble

Curious, Collaborative, Creativity: Steps to Empower Your Ensemble

Does it seem possible to utilize the new National Standards of creating, performing, responding, and connecting all within a single ensemble rehearsal? Many of us find that we barely have enough time to properly prepare our students for their next performance, let alone set aside time in their rehearsals for students to compose, analyze, discuss, and share.  

New Repertoire Plus Music Showcased at TMEA

New Repertoire Plus Music Showcased at TMEA

This month we added 24 new ensemble titles to the SmartMusic Repertoire Library. Included are 14 choir titles as well as new pieces for concert band and string orchestra. View the complete list.

TMEA Clinic/Convention

This week many music educators (and MakeMusic employees) are in San Antonio, Texas for the 2017 TMEA Clinic/Convention.

Keith Hancock Wins GRAMMY Music Educator Award

Keith Hancock Wins GRAMMY Music Educator Award

The Grammys are this Sunday! While those of us in the MakeMusic office have our fingers crossed for our favorite artists, including Gordon Goodwin and fellow Finale users Tim Davies and Darcy James Argue, we already know the winner of one of the awards.

CBS This Morning announced today that Keith Hancock, the choral director at Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California has won this year’s Music Educator Award.

Enduring Experiences in Instrumental Music

Enduring Experiences in Instrumental Music

Think about a musician you admire. What is it that you admire about that artist? What are the qualities of musicianship that you admire? Make a mental list… Great musicians perform with a high level of rhythmic and tonal precision, technical facility, and with artistic expression, as well as critically listen, describe, choose, create, and interpret music.

3 Ways to Expand Your Music Students’ Potential

3 Ways to Expand Your Music Students’ Potential

Several years ago I played with an orchestra that accompanied an 8-year-old cellist’s performance of  Popper’s “Hungarian Rhapsody.” I watched in amazement as her little fingers flew up and down the fingerboard with perfect precision. As she poured herself into the performance I could feel her love and passion for the music.

Considering the Hidden Curriculum in Music Classrooms

Considering the Hidden Curriculum in Music Classrooms

Every classroom, including yours, has a “hidden curriculum.” The Glossary of Education Reform defines hidden curriculum as “the unwritten, unofficial, and often unintended lessons, values, and perspectives that students learn in school. This curriculum can have a positive impact on learners, but may also lead to negative understandings.

I’d like to highlight some concepts that might be considered hidden curriculum in relation to musical understandings, social understandings, and cultural understandings.

Assessing Musical Performance

Assessment: Assessing Musical Performance

As more emphasis has been placed on student performance and teacher accountability, assessment has become increasingly important to music educators across the country. The use of valid measurement tools and assessment models are viewed as an integral part of the teaching process.

Why Is Assessment Important?

Assessment is important to gauge student progress, to provide information and motivation for learning, and to identify areas where improvements are needed.